There was a significant group by time interaction effect (F[4.31,138.0]=2.64, p< .05), with the lowest cortisol responses to stress in the physical contact group. in addition, there was a significant main effect of group the total amount of cortisol increase (auci) (f[2,64]=3.29, p<.05), indicating the lowest increase of cortisol concentration in the physical contact group.
The mean absolute increase in salivary cortisol in response to stress was 11.98 nmol/l in subjects with no interaction, 13.29 nmol/l in subjects of the social support group, and 4.33 nmol/l in subjects with positive physical contact.
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